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Computed diffusion-weighted imaging of the prostate at 3 T: impact on image quality and tumour detection

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To investigate the impact of prostate computed diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) on image quality and tumour detection.


Forty-nine patients underwent 3-T magnetic resonance imaging using a pelvic phased-array coil before prostatectomy, including DWI with b values of 50 and 1,000 s/mm2. Computed DW images with b value 1,500 s/mm2 were generated from the lower b-value images. Directly acquired b-1,500 DW images were obtained in 39 patients. Two radiologists independently assessed DWI for image quality measures and location of the dominant lesion. A third radiologist measured tumour-to-peripheral-zone (PZ) contrast. Pathological findings from prostatectomy served as the reference standard.


Direct and computed b-1,500 DWI showed better suppression of benign prostate tissue than direct b-1,000 DWI for both readers (P ≤ 0.024). However, computed b-1,500 DWI showed less distortion and ghosting than direct b-1,000 and direct b-1,500 DWI for both readers (P ≤ 0.067). Direct and computed b-1,500 images showed better sensitivity and positive predictive value (PPV) for tumour detection than direct b-1,000 images for both readers (P ≤ 0.062), with no difference in sensitivity or PPV between direct and computed b-1,500 images (P ≥ 0.180). Tumour-to-PZ contrast was greater on computed b-1,500 than on either direct DWI set (P < 0.001).


Computed DWI of the prostate using b value ≥1,000 s/mm2 improves image quality and tumour detection compared with acquired standard b-value images.

Key Points

Diffusion weighted MRI is increasingly used for diagnosing and assessing prostate carcinoma.

Prostate computed DWI can extrapolate high b-value images from lower b values.

Computed DWI provides greater suppression of benign tissue than lower b-value images.

Computed DWI provides less distortion and artefacts than images using same b value.

Computed DWI provides better diagnostic performance than lower b-value images.

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We would like to acknowledge the Joseph and Diane Steinberg Charitable Trust for support.

C. Geppert is an employee of Siemens (Erlangen, Germany). However, C.G. did not provide any funding for this study, and the remaining authors had control of all study data.

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Correspondence to Andrew B. Rosenkrantz.

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Rosenkrantz, A.B., Chandarana, H., Hindman, N. et al. Computed diffusion-weighted imaging of the prostate at 3 T: impact on image quality and tumour detection. Eur Radiol 23, 3170–3177 (2013).

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